You can deliver health and hope to an impoverished community, here’s how

Thinking about heading abroad to serve as a volunteer or to help a community in need? You can deliver health and hope by carrying a Humanitarian Medical Kit to a community and HPIC can help you make it happen. Volunteers, humanitarians, students, health professionals – and you – can take a Humanitarian Medical Kit from HPIC to provide up to 600 full courses of medical treatment to a community in need.

The lack of access to essential medicines in developing countries is a most pressing global health issue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2 billion people do not have adequate access to healthcare and medicine.

HPIC’s Humanitarian Medical Kits are like portable pharmacies that allow you to set up a clinic virtually anywhere. Others choose to deliver a kit to a healthcare provider in the field. The kits contain a standard assortment of essential medicines and medical supplies, all donated by Canadian healthcare companies. The contents, valued around $6,000, are all in-date and high quality. HPIC operates according to the high standards of Health Canada and the WHO.

HPIC is the only organization in Canada that provides this service to volunteers, medical teams and humanitarian groups. Since 1998 HPIC has provided treatment to about 3 million people through the kits. HPIC also has kits tailored to the needs of specialists and dentists, and for maternal care.

“This year we changed the name to Humanitarian Medical Kit from Physician Travel Pack so it is clear that you do not have to be a physician,” says Claudia Sighomnou, Director of HPIC’s Humanitarian Medical Program.

Some volunteers may ask why they should take medicines from Canada instead of buying locally. “When I go to Haiti on my annual mission trip, people are eager to receive care and to receive medicine that works,” says Dr. Pierre Plourde. “Counterfeit medicine is a real problem and so is the lack of needed medicines. There are many gaps in supply, and quality and efficacy are often a problem. When I take the Humanitarian Medical Kit, I am ready to work and I am confident in the medicines I am dispensing. ”

Here’s what people are saying about HPIC’s Humanitarian Medical Kits:

  • The kits were an “essential part of our trip. Without the packs, we would not have been able to deliver any of our care”
  • “The quantity of medications received allowed us to really maximize our budget and make the largest impact possible”
  • “Incredibly useful”
  • “An excellent overall complete package of essential medicines for our rapid deployment teams to use in the immediate aftermath of a disaster ”
  • “The documentation is complete and facilitates customs clearance.”

To obtain a kit, you have to apply (application available at and HPIC requests a donation of $575 that covers some of HPIC’s costs. Receipts for income tax purposes are issued and you can use HPIC’s online fundraising tool to invite your supporters to contribute too (they would also get tax receipts).

If you need help finding a volunteer opportunity or planning your trip or would simply like more information, please contact us at 1-800-627-1787, ext. 129 or

If you have suggestions or comments about how we can help you, please contact us. If you know of people or organizations looking for quality donated medicines for health projects, please refer them to HPIC.